Monday, May 4, 2009

Living in Grace

So last week I finally made it to church on Wednesday night. They have been working on the book Just Walk Across The Room by Bill Hybels. I need to read the book or do the study from the beginning. I would recommend the study just from the one class session that I went to.
Bill was talking about not judging people based on addictions, actions, etc. One of the questions on the study guide was...
"Have you ever thought that being a Christian that you had to become a "Lifestyle referee" to the world around you?"
That brought me back to something that the Lord was teaching me about in my own life. There is no condemnation in Christ. So basically, if the Lord of creation does not condemn me, why should I condemn others.
Now that is not to say that He doesn't correct me, He does. When He does it, it is ALWAYS in love. When He uses a human to help with the correction, which He does do, sometimes we as humans get it wrong. Maybe not the concept but the way of helping the person in need of correction.
If my family member does something that I don't think a Christ follower should do, what is my obligation? Tell them? Or keep quite? I totally think that depends on what the Lord is doing in there lives. I certainly am not going to say "Mom, the Lord told me that you..." I think that comes across harsh, and for those who are "far from God" (as Bill Hybels puts it)it comes across as being judging.
Remember Jesus ate with sinners. He dinned with tax collectors and prostitutes.
There were days not so long ago when I would see my husband doing something that I didn't believe that Christ followers should do, I would feel upset. How could he do that knowing that we have friends from church who may drive by and see him doing _____! But then I am remembered I DON'T KNOW WHAT THE LORD IS SPEAKING TO MY HUSBAND. I don't know where his heart is, or at which stage he is at.
There are a number of things that I did the first year of becoming a Christ follower that the Lord spoke to me about and I then changed with His help. I could not have stopped smoking with out Jesus' help. I tried. Believe me it was not easy, until I gave it to Him. Sometimes I still fight it.
So what I am really trying to say is to love those who can not, or will not love themselves. The Lord as called us to love our neighbors. If you see something in someone you believe to be a Christ follower and you do agree, just remember the Lord is in control. He maybe working with that person right that moment, but really its His job not yours.

1 Peter 1:22 22 Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart,

I also believe that our judgment as a church is what causes the world to not want to enter. Remember love, not judge. You were once on the outside wanting to be loved.

Revelation 22:17 17 And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.

Pray, for them, for yourself, for the church. Just pray!